Securing a healthy future

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Ambassador Kamsvåg at the “Anemia Free India” and “Home Based Young Child Care” workshop. Photo: Ministry of Health

Last week, the Government of India launch of a nation-wide rollout of two public health programs focused on child health was marked at the “Anemia Free India” and “Home Based Young Child Care” workshop in New Delhi.

This is an important milestone for the Norway-India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) as one of the programs launched is based on a NIPI invention.

Child health is an essential element of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal nr 3. Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common factors associated with child mortality. However, working towards achieving the target of less than 25 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2030 would require improvements in many areas, such as skilled delivery of care.

Precisely this was the central theme of the last week’s workshop, where the guidelines to the two public health programs: Anemia Free India and Home-Based Young Child Care, were officially published and discussed. Officials from the Union Health Ministry of India, State Health Departments of several states in India, and professionals from UN organization attended and gave addresses at the event. The Ambassador to Norway, Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg delivered an inaugural address.

This successful outcome, no doubt, draws from the solid and long-standing Norway-India Partnership Initiative (NIPI), where over the years several interventions targeted to improve maternal and child health have been tested and piloted together with the local health authorities.  One of them is the Home-Based Young Child (HBYC) program, which is aimed at strengthening child-care from the time of birth to the age of 15 months with the focus on general health, nutrition and early development. We are therefore pleased to announce that the Home-Based Young Child Care program will be scaled up country-wide!

Ambassador Kamsvåg extended his sincere congratulations to the Indian Ministry of Health for the remarkable progress in several areas in the public health arena, and applauded the decision to increase the incentives of the Community Health workers, who are the very backbone for delivery of health services in rural India.

The Norwegian Embassy congratulates the Indian authorities as well as all collaborative partners, in particular JHPEIGO, on this great achievement, wishes the Norway-Indian Partnership Initiative all the best in future endeavors.   We hope this partnership will continue to improve maternal and child health for many years to come.